The Best Pizza Place On Earth!!
Everyone has their favourite little place. The place that, in your own opinion, is simply the best around at doing whatever it is they do. It can sometimes be a cause of arguments, too. I’ve lost count of the number of times my friends have argued over which is the best pub, cafe or curry house in town, or why we should go to this takeaway instead of that takeaway after a night out. Sometimes you just taste something, and you instantly know that it doesn’t get any better than this. Well, when it comes to pizza, this is my favourite place in the whole world.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Sweden?? Seriously??”
Admittedly the land that gave us IKEA and ABBA might not be the first destination that pops into your head when you think of pizza. But let me assure you, pizza in Sweden is an entirely different ball game. In London we’re presented with a whole variety of options when it comes to pizza – Deep pan. Thin & crispy. Stuffed crust. Classic Italian. Tear & Share bites. The list goes on. Yet, the choices of topping here seem to be limited to about eight or nine “standards”, and maybe the occasional limited edition.
In contrast, the Swedish pizza is served on a thin base. Simple as. So in some ways it has something in common with the traditional pizza. But when it comes to toppings, that is when the imagination is let loose and allowed to run wild. I’ve heard some people say that less is best when it comes to pizza toppings, but in Sweden this simply does not apply. It is not uncommon to see combinations of ten, twelve, fourteen ingredients on pizza menus. Crazy combinations that you’d never think of putting on the same plate let alone on a pizza. To give you an example, one of the more popular ones in Sweden is the Kebabpizza. Yes, it is exactly what it says it is – doner meat, garlic sauce, chillies, salad and onions on a pizza. And that’s one of the more tame combinations.
My experience with Pizzeria Mums began in 2003, on my first ever visit to Sweden. My then-girlfriend Marie lived just a few streets away, and one afternoon she suggested pizza for lunch, so we walked to Pizzeria Mums. Now, I didn’t know about this place beforehand, it was just Marie’s neighbourhood pizza joint. But that day I just happened to be wearing an Ecuador football shirt. That was when I met David, the owner.
Being from Ecuador himself, he was overjoyed that I happened to be wearing his country’s shirt!! (For those of you who don’t know, I collect football shirts). I hadn’t noticed the huge Ecuadorian flag outside. So we got chatting, then went to sit on the grass outside and eat our pizza. We’d gone for one of the more simple options (Marie is a vegetarian), but it was awesome. I wanted to eat nothing but pizza for the rest of that trip.
We went back the next day, and David did a very kind thing. I had told him the previous day that I was a football shirt collector, and he presented me with another one to add to my collection. The shirt below is of Deportivo Quito, David’s team back home. Since acquiring it it’s kind of become a lucky charm. It’s been all round the world – from Ecuador to Sweden where I acquired it, since then it’s been to India, to Ireland, Portugal, Egypt, France… basically whenever I go anywhere it comes with me. It’s my travelling football shirt.
But, back onto the subject of pizza. Mums has over 70 different combinations (I’d recommend the Jimmy Hendrix, which consists of tomato, cheese, marinated beef, kebab meat, garlic, raw onions, lettuce, mushrooms and special sauce). Also the Afrikaner which is popular all over Sweden and includes curry sauce and banana for the more adventurous. Trust me, it works.
David is an artist. The pizza dough is his canvas. He has represented Sweden in the “Pizza World Cup” and appeared on TV. This guy knows pizza inside out, and the care and attention he gives when making each one from hand shows that it is passion which drives him rather than the desire to make a quick buck. If there was a blueprint for the perfect pizza, this is it. Forget about Italy, or Chicago. For the ultimate pizza experience, come to Gothenburg, Sweden. Come to Pizzeria Mums.